The arrival of Google Analytics 4 is swiftly approaching, meaning dealers must prepare for the next generation of digital data collection. On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined once again by Brian Pasch, auto marketing expert and the Founder and CEO of PCG Companies, to discuss the transition and to share some of his observations.
Google Analytics 4, which promises to be one of the most significant digital marketing advancements in years, will fully launch on July 1, 2023. After this date, the current Universal Analytics platform will disappear, making it essential for dealers to familiarize themselves with the system. However, Pasch notes that many have yet to set up their accounts properly: “It shows that there’s still a lot of work to do in communication.” One organization helping dealers to hit the ground running is the Automotive Standards Council, which has created a unified specification for the next generation of data collection.
One key advantage of the new Googe Analytics platform is its ability to convert chat, text and phone-call data into actionable information. For dealers, this feature presents an unprecedented opportunity to make marketing operations more effective and efficient. “Most dealers, right now, if someone does click to call, they count that as a conversion,” notes Pasch. “But 30% of those calls never connect, so it’s inflated…in [Google Analytics 4], the call tracking companies now have supported this detailed spec that, after the call is completed, they will listen to the transcript and send [what the call was about] back into analytics…” Using this information, companies can optimize their advertising campaigns with greater accuracy, reducing waste while maximizing their reach.
To set themselves up for success, Pasch recommends watching his video “Five in Five for GA4 – Automotive Retail.” The short walkthrough highlights the new Google Analytics platform’s most important features and provides a framework to help retailers troubleshoot any issues.
“Dealers are now waking up,” remarks Pasch. Digital marketing is a powerful tool for connecting with customers, but it is only as effective as the user’s knowledge. Thankfully, retailers are much more proficient in their use of Google Analytics than before the COVID pandemic. As time goes on, it will become easier to adjust to new updates, but for now, the car business must be sure to continue making progress to prepare for the future of automotive sales.